And so on the last day of the year I bring you the last monthly update of the year. The girls know that we're having a party tonight, but not why; and though they're big, big girls, they're not big enough yet to stay up for midnight.
Chloë is going through a whiny, defiant stage. Have I mentioned this before? It's still true. "No fair!" she was yelling at intervals all morning. (Eric blames me. I'm afraid this time he's correct. It's from the "Bedtime for Frances" miniseries I found on Netflix.) "I didn't want you to zip it all the way," she complains when we help too much. "You don't both need to tell me," she says when Eric and both holler "Yes!" when she's called out "I can flush, right?"
Vis a vis the potty, she's almost entirely independent now. We've been checking her wiping (visually), but she's been doing well, so I told her last night that if she felt dry, she could just pull up her underwear and proceed to flushing and washing. I expected her to call me anyway, but she didn't. Next step is to get her off the potty seat. I keep mentioning it and forgetting to do it.
Maia's been doing some sitting on the potty, occasionally, but I think it's mainly so that she can read her potty books. She does enjoy the attention, though, and especially being on Chloë's seat. And Chloë's always very helpful in telling me "Maia wants to sit on my potty seat," and putting the seat on and moving the stool so I really have no choice.
Chloë showed the probably typical but unbecoming "Are there more presents for me?" attitude during Christmas, but other than that they were both delightful during the holidays. They enjoyed their toys, helped clean up without much grumbling, helped enthusiastically with baking. Chloë's fairly good at measuring out dry ingredients, and is eager to say "I can do that!" whenever I introduce a new step. She wants to learn about cracking eggs, but I'm not ready for that yet. Maia likes to stand on the chair with Chloë and dip her fingers into things. Chloë got an easel for Christmas, and when Eric started to put it together, she clamored to help. "I don't think there's much you can do," he told her, "but we'll see." But, in fact, she helped gather and hold things, keep track of the "L," hold pieces in place, and screw on the wing nuts. She also did her first screw-driving helping to change batteries in her moon and stars. We'll have her fixing the roof in no time.
She's still keenly interested in the alphabet and counting. She's getting better at the teens and can work her way up to one hundred if you prompt her a few times. She also knows two plus two is four, though I'm not sure she could do two plus three.
Maia is talking, talking, always talking. A lot of it is mimicking, especially anything Chloë says; but she comes up with her own sentences too. Like "Mama eating pizza too" and "Mitten falling down!" and "Daddy sleeping, tiptoe, shhh," and, heart-meltingly, "Happy see you Mama." She's starting to take more interest in her wardrobe, and whenever I help her on with something she particularly likes, she wants to go show Daddy.
She's now our adventurous eater; Chloë doesn't like anything remotely "spicy" (occasionally including basil and oregano, though not cinnamon) and has recently declared she didn't like tomatoes, though she then ate about a third of a pound of them at Memaw's with her cousins, so she's clearly not being totally truthful there. But Maia likes my spicy cheese (pepperjack) and the cheese-onion tart at Christmas and my potato omelets and, in general, anything her sister and father won't touch. She's not keen on bacon or sausage (though Chloë adores them both), but she liked the ham at Christmas and in general is eager to try anything on Eric's plate, or mine, that she doesn't have. Or that she does have. She also likes to eat with my fork.
However, Chloë still loves her mermaid food, seaweed and seaweed soup and rice. Maia too. Mom made them soup when they were here (she makes it better than I do) and they both literally slurped it up.
Also, she continues to like playing with her blankets:
The girls are really engaging with each other these days. They have actual conversations sometimes ("Maia, do you want to play sleepover?" "Yeah!" "Okay, let's go to my room." "Wait, Toë." "Oh, you need your babies? I'll help carry them." "Thank you Toë.") I came down the other day to find they'd dragged Maia's little couch to the entryway and were kneeling backward on it, talking animatedly about fish. Turned out they were on a boat. They're considerate of each other most of the time, responding to each other's wants and upsets. They're such sweet girls.